Broccoli And Radish Sprouts

Gardening for Your Kitchen Table: Sprouts

I wasn’t into gardening in the 70’s (unless you count eating dirt while running around my yard in diapers) but those of my friends who were a bit older back then remember growing their own sprouts in a jar or a basket, forgetting about them on a windowsill and that memorable odour of neglected, fuzzy sprouts.

Well if that’s how you remember sprouting, then welcome to the new millennium.  For Christmas / Hanukkah a few years ago, I was the lucky recipient of a Fresh Life Automatic Sprouter and it’s been making regular appearances each winter as the garden is asleep.  This lovely contraption has a water basin below a tray for your seeds and sprinklers that automatically turns on and off at some random intervals that I have yet to figure out.  All you need to do is change the water in the basin daily, find a nice spot with some indirect light and in 4-6 days you’ll be eating crunchy fresh greens right from your tabletop.

Sprouts are nutritious little mini-plants full digestible energy, bioavailable vitamins, amino acids, minerals, enzymes, proteins and photochemicals.  All that good stuff is locked up within the seeds just waiting for you to give it the start needed to create a plant.  For more information on sprouting go here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sprouting.

Needless to say, many of us in cold climates are lacking nutrients in the winter.  Fresh vegetables aren’t growing in our gardens anymore, our pantry and freezers are emptying of the previous year’s harvest and we are resorting (ugh!) to buying our fresh produce shipped in from warmer climates.  That combined with the gardening itch that starts ramping up after Christmas for me, got me into sprouting.

So far I have sprouted alfalfa, fenugreek, red clover, radish, broccoli, beets, spelt berries, mung beans, lentils, sunflower seeds, and I am currently working on a batch of green peas.  The results have been varied.  My favourite is the mix of alfalfa, fenugreek, red clover, radish that has the right mix of flavour and spice for salads and sandwiches.  The mung beans were hard to do and was an eye-opener for the unnatural conditions required to make those crunchy and sweet mung bean sprouts we get from China.  The lentils have a delicious nutty sweet flavour perfect for adding a crunch to soups, and the sunflower seeds are best grown as micro greens (seeds jam-packed in a soil-less mixture) rather than in the sprouter.

{From left: sprouting spelt berries, sunflower seeds, and alfalfa / radish / red clover mix; the Fresh Life Automatic Sprouter; the whirling sprinker is a hit with the under 4 crowd.}

As I was organizing all of my packets of seeds for the garden this coming season, I started feeling overwhelmed with the idea that I could very possibly be a garden hoarder.   I have a lot more seeds than I can possibly grow this year, or any year for that matter.  It seems reasonable then to sprout the suckers now and eat them before I have to call A&E and register for the show.

PS: I buy my seeds from West Coast Seeds but you can also find them online here.

 

About the Author : StephanieAn artistic gardener aiming to feed the body & soul through an urban potager garden & a community veggie plot in Vancouver.View all posts by Stephanie

  1. melanie watts
    melanie wattsJanuary 11,10

    Interesting gadget. I remember growing alfalfa sprouts, in the eighties, I think. I would be cool to try sprouting something else and I would probably like the crunchy results.

  2. Stevie
    StevieJanuary 13,10

    It makes it a whole lot easier when it’s automatic. In my books it’s worth the money!

  3. Daphne Gould
    Daphne GouldNovember 8,10

    I remember my parents growing alfalfa sprouts in the 70s. Oh how I hated those things. I’d probably like them now, but the memory is too strong. I sprouted mung beans last winter. I still haven’t figured out a good way to weight them so they grow really thick. Maybe this year I’ll keep my yogurt containers and do it with them. I’d love to try regular peas too. I love pea microgreens. They are so tasty.

  4. Eschelle
    EschelleJanuary 13,11

    this is amazing i want to have it looks great for someone with a black thumb like myself!!

    http://eschelle-mumfection.blogspot.com/
    http://littlefatgirl.blogspot.com/

  5. meemsnyc
    meemsnycJanuary 27,11

    Oooh, I really want a sprouter. Looks delicious.

  6. Lorrie
    LorrieFebruary 3,12

    Looks wonderful! Would love to try something like this!

  7. Honey
    HoneyFebruary 4,12

    I had never thought about a sprouter. How interesting! Thank you for sharing your lovely post at Potpourri Friday!

  8. Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co.
    Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co.February 5,12

    Oh this is cool! I love sprouts on sandwiches!

  9. ChiWei
    ChiWeiFebruary 6,12

    mmm, I need to do this! My mom always told me she would grow sprouts in a tea kettle because the seeds didn’t like sunlight, but I couldn’t figure out how I was supposed to see what was going on inside the kettle! I definitely have to try this out, I’m missing my greens so much!

  10. Aimee from ItsOverflowing
    Aimee from ItsOverflowingFebruary 6,12

    What a cool contraption!! Thanks so much for linking up!! I’m your newest follower!! Have you seen my Lisa Leonard giveaway yet?

    XO, Aimee

  11. April
    AprilFebruary 7,12

    My first thought was that is so weird. Then I thought that is so cool. Very interesting.

  12. andrea cammarata
    andrea cammarataFebruary 8,12

    this is awesome! a vegetarian heaven! thank you and thank you for dropping by!!!! (HUGS) your newest follower!

  13. marissa
    marissaFebruary 8,12

    this is so cool I would love you to add this and any other posts you want to show off to my What We Wore and Made party over at http://raegunwear.blogspot.com/search/label/WWWMW

  14. Heidi
    HeidiFebruary 8,12

    Wow! What a great idea and time saver.

  15. mary
    maryFebruary 8,12

    I love sprouts–have never grown my own though. Great post–Thanks for linking up to Share the Love Wednesday!
    Mary

  16. Aimee from ItsOverflowing
    Aimee from ItsOverflowingFebruary 14,12

    I LOVE sprouts!!! Thanks for sharing at my party!!! Happy Valentine’s Day!!! XO, Aimee

  17. Brooke
    BrookeSeptember 20,12

    Do you have a spam issue on this website; I also am a blogger,
    and I was wanting to know your situation; we have created some nice procedures and we
    are looking to exchange techniques with others, please shoot me an email if interested.

  18. Stevie
    StevieOctober 1,12

    Hi Brooke, no I don’t usually have a problem. Most get caught in my filter program. I let these ones slide because it was a group of school kids that were obviously in a class together and they were horsing around. I thought it was funny and love that somehow these kids found my site.

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